Yanks place Hughes on DL, activate Mussina
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Yankees will bring up right-handers Darrell Rasner and Matt DeSalvo to fill their depleted rotation for their weekend series against Seattle, putting them on track to become the first team in major-league history to use 10 starters in its first 30 games.
Rasner is scheduled to make his fourth start Sunday, with DeSalvo making his major-league debut in Monday's series finale. Manager Joe Torre said Thursday he scheduled DeSalvo for the later game with the idea of keeping him in the rotation.
DeSalvo cleared waivers in February and was sent outright to the minors. He was 1-6 with a 7.68 ERA at Triple-A last year, when he also spent time at Double-A, and is 3-0 with a 1.05 ERA this season in five starts with Triple-A Scranton.
"We feel that Matty, maybe this is his time," Torre said. "We'll see. We're certainly testing a lot of kids right now."
Before this year, three teams used nine starters in the first 30 games, according to the Elias Sports Bureau: the 1911 St. Louis Browns, 1946 New York Giants and 1955 Baltimore Orioles. This year's Yankees have already tied that mark, with Andy Pettitte (six starts); Kei Igawa (four); Mike Mussina and Rasner (three apiece); and Phil Hughes, Jeff Karstens, Carl Pavano, Chien-Ming Wang and Chase Wright (two each).
Hughes was placed on the DL on Thursday, the seventh Yankees pitcher to go on the DL this season. New York recalled right-hander Chris Britton before its 4-3 win over Texas in the first game of a doubleheader and then optioned him to Scranton between games so the Yankees could activate Mussina for the second game. Mussina made his first start since he strained a hamstring April 11.
Hughes, a 20-year-old considered one of baseball's top prospects, pitched 6 1/3 hitless innings Tuesday night in his second major-league start and then strained a hamstring. It marked the Yankees' fourth hamstring injury this season and led general manager Brian Cashman to fire strength and conditioning coach Marty Miller on Wednesday.
In a statement released through the Yankees on Thursday, Miller said he appreciated the chance New York gave him and said the result "certainly wasn't for a lack of preparation or dedication on my part."
"I was given the opportunity of a lifetime to work with the New York Yankees," Miller's statement said. "Although many differing factors are at play when conditioning athletes at this level, I will never be one to skirt responsibility."
Pavano, still sidelined by a stiff forearm. is trying to schedule an appointment with orthopedist Dr. James Andrews. Pavano, who has made two appearances with the Yankees since June 2005, cut short a bullpen session Wednesday because of discomfort. He hasn't pitched in a game since April 9.
Pavano said the pain has been consistent since he resumed throwing.
"We'll see what Dr. Andrews says since he's the professional," Pavano said. "I just know what I feel."
Pavano is 1-0 with a 4.76 ERA in two starts, his first appearances for the Yankees following 1½ years of shoulder, back, buttocks, elbow and rib injuries that caused many to question his desire to pitch and some to ridicule him.
"You certainly need to find out how to help him along in this area," Torre said this week. "Is it total rest? Maybe the mound a couple times is too much? I don't know."
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press
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